HERLONG, JR. Warren Candler Herlong, Jr., beloved husband, adored father and distinguished attorney, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, January 10th, 2024. He was 75.
A consummate gentleman who earned the trust of his friends and colleagues, Warren was highly regarded by all who knew him. His bright smile, quick wit and genuine personality were just a few of his many enduring qualities that his family and friends will always cherish. Warren was gifted not only with a prolific mind, but also with a kind and gentle spirit that enabled him to always see the good in people. This compassion endeared him to many and helped him throughout his life to build lasting relationships that spanned the globe. Family and friends were the cornerstone of his life. He treasured their companionship and took great care to maintain these relationships, regardless of the distances that may have separated him from those he loved. Caring and ever-thoughtful, Warren was special in a myriad of ways and leaves behind a tremendous legacy. He was deeply loved and will be missed by all who knew him.
Born in Greenville, Alabama on February 7, 1948, Warren was the son of an Air Force Officer. He spent his formative childhood years first in Japan and later Libya, where instead of a bike, he learned to ride donkeys bareback. He later found his true home on the river of Magnolia Springs, Alabama and in Mobile, Alabama. He graduated from BC Rain High School, where he earned acclaim on the debate and football teams and began charting his path of high achievement. He went on to attend the University of Alabama, where he served as President of the Student Government Association; the University of Virginia School of Law, where he and fellow classmate Alan Clark won the William Minor Lyle Moot Court Competition; and The University of Edinburgh, Scotland, where he earned a Diploma of Roman Law.
As an attorney, Warren’s acute acumen, diligent work ethic, and unfailing integrity earned him a reputation as a true professional and trusted advisor. He practiced law in Mobile for more than forty-five years, all at the firm that is now Helmsing, Leach, Herlong, Newman & Rouse. He specialized in the field of eminent domain, where he gained national repute as one of the premier attorneys representing property owners whose land faced condemnation. In this capacity, he became a founding member of the Owner’s Counsel of America, which is now the leading organization of distinguished eminent domain lawyers across the country. Highly respected by his peers, Warren received many professional recognitions and was selected to leadership roles within several prominent associations, including his selection as a Fellow in the American College of Real Estate Lawyers and in the American and Alabama Bar Associations, as well as a member of the University of Alabama President’s Cabinet. He was also honored to serve as a mentor to many young lawyers in his firm over the years and to assist the community as a member and supporter of several civic and charitable organizations.
Warren’s numerous academic and professional accomplishments belied his fun personality and prodigious social talents, skills which came to him easily at an early age and were further refined while in college and law school. His experiences both as a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) fraternity at UA as well as a law student at UVA provided lifelong friendships and many of his fondest memories. Some of his favorite memories included weekends spent fox hunting on horseback at Brampton in Virginia with host “Shack” Shackelford and other fellow classmates. After law school a four-month voyage to the South Pacific with classmate and dear friend, Pete Vial, would forever provide Warren with added perspective on life, including the ability to invoke “Fiji Time” into stressful situations.
Perhaps Warren’s most influential experience was a fateful college summer trip to Idaho in 1967 to raft the Salmon River. This short stint as a white-water rafting guide became a defining experience for Warren that compelled him to return every year for 50 years to raft the Middle Fork with his close friends from the Pacific Northwest during the summers and ski with them in Sun Valley during the winters. Always the professional, Warren maintained his white-water guide license until his death. He also found solitude in the woods, where for several decades he avidly hunted wild quail with his old friends in Baldwin County. When he wasn’t working or on an adventure, Warren loved to spend time at his cabin in Magnolia Springs, a special place that he graciously shared with so many.
Warren’s best qualities, however, were undoubtedly those as a family man. He was not only a kind and doting husband, but he was also a much-loved father who instilled character and showered affection upon his five children. Driven but gentle, brilliant yet humble, honorable and kind always, Warren lived as a model of the values he hoped to instill in his children. His profound legacy extends well beyond his family and friends, as his memory will always shine brightly over the Mobile community. He will be deeply missed and will always be remembered as a fine example of a life well-lived.
Warren was preceded in death by his father, Warren C. Herlong, Sr. and his mother, Gerrie Herlong. He is survived by his beloved wife, Meredith Foster Herlong, three sons, Foster, Emory, and Pierce Horton, and two daughters, Amber Brewer (John), and Anna “McKenz” Hatchett, as well as Godfather to eight children, all of whom adored Warren and felt a close, strong impact from his love and guidance. He is also survived by his younger sister, Heidi McFarlin, affectionately called “Wo”, brother-in-law, Mike McFarlin, mother-in-law, Kathy Foster, brother-in-law Harlan Foster, and sister-in-law, Marti Foster.
A memorial service will be celebrated on Monday, January 22nd at 3pm in the Azalea Room at Marriott’s Grand Hotel - Point Clear, Alabama. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to Mobile Baykeeper.To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Warren Candler Herlong, Jr., please visit our flower store.